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Do you know why you react to certain things the way you do?

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of self-work to understand my reactions and manage them accordingly, but there is always work to do. I was gifted with some of that work this week.

For the past three days, I was immersed in certification to become a Leadership Circle Profile (LCP) practitioner. The LCP is a comprehensive 360° assessment of leadership effectiveness, and it’s powerful.

The LCP measures key leadership competencies that contribute to effectiveness (Creative competencies), as well as self-limiting behaviors (Reactive tendencies). 

I wasn’t surprised when two Reactive tendencies where I rated myself higher are Pleasing and Passive.

Why? Bullied in my youth, I learned to survive by pleasing others, and by holding myself back–playing small and passive–when I wanted to be included.

Yesterday we went through a full debrief of our own report with another participant, and I was lucky to be paired with Chris Thyberg, The Serving Way.

Understanding Reactions | Cynthia Farrell | 110 West Group

As we reviewed my raters’ comments, I told Chris I had a strong reaction to a comment that I can “come on too strong”–essentially, that I can be too big, too much.

Chris invited me to explore that strong reaction. What was that bringing up in me? 

Through gentle questioning and intuitive connection-making from Chris, the reason for my reaction became clear.

My Pleasing and Passive tendencies helped me survive adolescence but also shoved my real self, my “shadow” self, into a dark room. My real self is a big personality with a lot of energy to give. 

Over the past 15-20 years, I’ve worked to let my real self out to play. I AM a big personality. I DO generate a lot of energy. It’s a gift. I also understand the impact it can have, and adapt when needed.

But I don’t respond well to being told that I can be “too much.” With Chris’s guidance, I made the connection that I hear that as being told that I should shove my true self back into a dark room and return to playing small. 

I know that’s not how the feedback was meant. That’s just how I reacted to it and why. Understanding that allows me a clearer path to determine what I want to do with the feedback and the new self-awareness.

That, my friends, is the power of development–the power of a robust tool in partnership with a skilled practitioner and coach.

We all have Reactive tendencies, some of which we know and some that are blind spots. Stepping into our full leadership potential requires a commitment to gaining clarity on what they are, and doing the HARD work to embrace their gifts while shifting away from what they can cost us.

Are you ready?


If you ARE ready to step into your full leadership potential, gain clarity on your leadership effectiveness, and work with a coach who can be a guide on that journey, reach out to me or Chris to learn more about the LCP and our coaching approaches.


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